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Weed is the most consumed substance all around the world and it's also the most readily available. However, this doesn't change the fact that most people still believe in some of the myths regarding cannabis. Here we will debunk the most popular ones and go over some facts.
1. Weed is not addictive.
Whilst many researches would argue that weed isn't really physically addictive, weed is in fact psychologically addictive. That is to say that while you won’t necessarily get unbearable withdrawal symptoms, you will probably still be dependent on the substance if you’re a heavy smoker. If you need a joint when you get back from work or you can’t sleep without one, chances are you are psychologically addicted. Which is 10-30 percent of regular users. Furthermore, physical addiction has been reported as heavy smokers tend to sweat out in their sleep, get nauseous and have drastic mood swings when they stop after a long period of smoking. But still nothing like the ants crawling in your veins sensation of heroin.
2. Weed causes cancer.
It is undeniable that a stoner is more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoker. According to a 2008 New Zealander study, eight percent more likely per every year of daily smoking (one joint). On the other hand, however, Dr. Donald Tashkin, a professor of medicine at UCLA in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, hasn’t found a link between marijuana and lung disease throughout his research that dates back to the 70ss. And neither has this study from 2015. Studies over the years have come to mixed conclusions, some affirming that smoking marijuana isn’t linked at all to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Furthermore, doctors have discovered the anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids. Microbiologist Dr. Christine Sanchez of Complutense University in Madrid, Spain found that THC killed brain tumor cells and could potentially be used to treat breast cancer.
So, at this point in science, there isn’t enough evidence to come up with a definite answer. Can we say it’s safer than tobacco? Yes. This is possibly due to the fact that cannabis is smoked in smaller amounts compared to tobacco. And also because a normal cigarette contains arsenic, lead and formaldehyde.
3. Weed causes schizophrenia.
Excessive weed consumption has been linked to psychotic symptoms and characteristics of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. However, weed does not cause schizophrenia as it is an illness that cannot be provoked, only triggered. People suffering from schizophrenia must have a genetic predisposition to it in order to experience it. For example, you can't "catch" schizophrenia. Some experience psychotic symptoms earlier than others depending on environmental triggers. Common triggers include traumatic events and of course, smoking weed.
This probably explains why some people are more prone to paranoia and anxiety than others so you should definitely find out if there's a history of schizophrenia in your family.
4. Weed makes you stupid and lazy.
We've all heard it all before, weed makes you a lazy slob with no ambitions in life. Thanks to the media portrayal of cannabis smokers this is probably the most common stoner stereotype. However, it is simply not true. Smokers that hide behind the idea that weed makes you lazy, ARE lazy. Whilst it is true that cannabis is a muscle relaxant, it does certainly not paralyse you or glue you to your sofa. In fact, many smokers use cannabis as a way to let their creative juices flow and make beautiful art. Others use it to focus and be productive. I personally wouldn't have been able to finish my dissertation without weed. And who doesn't like doing the dishes while they're high? Besides, I have never met anyone more dedicated than a stoner who would travel for hours just to pick up.
However, if you're someone who can't handle anything other than lying around in bed all day for several weeks at a time, you might have to consider the fact that you're depressed and might need some sort of therapy.
All in all, if you're worried about the negative implications that weed consumption might have on you, you should definitely do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Some people may really benefit from cannabis use and others should definitely stay away from it. Be safe and enjoy!